Business Messaging 6 min read

A complete guide to WhatsApp for business

Posted on June 16, 2020

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The increased use of social media by consumers led businesses to divert a lot of their focus and marketing spend to social media channels. The surge in the use of messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Telegram, is attributed to the proliferation of smartphones. Smart businesses are exploring and experimenting on the most efficient ways to pivot their services to messaging apps considering customers spend a lot of time there.

As the most popular global messaging app with over 1.5 billion monthly users, WhatsApp for business holds a lot of promise. How can businesses uncover the full potential of WhatsApp and also exploit it to provide a better experience for their customers?

What is WhatsApp for business and how does it work?

WhatsApp for business is the use of WhatsApp to provide concierge-like services. It provides an easy and efficient means for customers to reach a business. It also empowers businesses to reach more people and fosters better communication with customers.

WhatsApp enables businesses to provide a suite of services to its customers, generating more revenue for a business and granting customers easy access to services.

In its formal announcement in 2016, Whatsapp wrote:

Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from. That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight. We all get these messages elsewhere today — through text messages and phone calls — so we want to test new tools to make this easier to do on WhatsApp, while still giving you an experience without third-party ads and spam.

WhatsApp simplifies communication between businesses and customers. customers receive real-time assistance and also perform different kinds of transactions. Businesses send notifications, reminders, images and other forms of multimedia to their customers.

The case for WhatsApp for business

WhatsApp is a popular platform — with over 500 million daily active users and 65 billion WhatsApp messages sent each day. Exploiting such a captive audience is a priority for businesses, and Whatsapp has features that make it suitable for businesses to do just that. It sends push notifications to users alerting them of new messages and its read receipt feature shows that a message has been read. This removes uncertainty about the delivery of messages.

Another feature is WhatsApp’s dedication to security. Through verification of business phone numbers, customers don’t have to worry about the authenticity of businesses they are interacting with on the app.

Services supported by WhatsApp

WhatsApp is suitable for all businesses regardless of size. It opens up a business to a larger client base, making it possible and easy for prospective clients outside the business’ locale to transact with it.

WhatsApp supports a range of business functions: from simple communication like messaging, exchange of pictures and order placement to more elaborate exchanges like payments, self-service and automated support. WhatsApp supports the following services:

  • Purchases
  • Payments
  • Self-service
  • Customer support
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Customer onboarding

Advantages

Through WhatsApp, businesses engage with their customers effectively. The communication style between a business and its customers on the platform is not different from the messaging style customers are used to. This similarity spurs engagement.

Popularity and wide usage

A major advantage of Whatsapp is its global usage. It is easier for businesses to migrate to where customers are actively participating than to move customers to new platforms. All that is required of a business is to initiate conversations. This is different from email where businesses have to come up with tactics to get their customers to subscribe so they can receive their messages. It is also better than apps as businesses don’t have to offer incentives for download. Considering the rising app fatigue, this is a huge point.

Privacy and security concern

There is rising concern over the security and privacy issues in messaging platforms. This issue doesn’t apply to WhatsApp. WhatsApp’s end to end encryption reinforces its commitment to safeguarding customers’ privacy and data. It ensures that messages are protected from third parties, including WhatsApp.

Quick service

Customers value convenience and prize quick and efficient service. On WhatsApp, customers bypass email, contact centre and website FAQ page to get the answers they need. WhatsApp provides a quicker and easier alternative for issue resolution.

Customers’ preference for messaging

The rise of conversational commerce is related to the growth of messaging platforms. The advantage of this is that businesses aren’t coercing or enticing customers to try a new thing. Rather, businesses are piggybacking on customers preference to create better experiences.

Best for customer engagement

The two-way conversational nature of WhatsApp increases customer engagement. Because businesses can respond to customers in real-time, customers choose it over other traditional mediums.

Higher profit

WhatsApp is within easy reach. So customers do not have to overcome hurdles to buy from a business. This lack of friction increases customer spending, resulting in more profits for businesses.

Getting started

Conversational commerce has limitless advantages. To start using WhatsApp for your business, understand the specific and unique value it will bring to your customers and how it will advance your business goals. After you’ve defined it, partner with a reputable software company for implementation.

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